Friday, December 26, 2008

3 Things You Should NOT Do When Angry

Sometimes I like to pretend that I can be all Zen, and I must admit that I enjoy 10-minute meditations and the occasional yoga class. In truth, however, I'm a classic "Type A" personality, and I struggle with anger sometimes. Here are three hard and fast rules that I have given myself to protect the world (and my future) from these moments.

1. Do Not Send E-mail: This seems obvious, but it's not. We're so used to being able to type off a quick response to someone that we forget sometimes that e-mail should never, ever be used to express anger or frustration. It is simply not a good tool for such severe emotions. Now, sometimes it can be a helpful form of venting in the heat of the moment to DRAFT an e-mail in Microsoft Word (so that there's no chance of it being sent), but never, ever send it!

2. Do Not Approach Facebook: In today's world, it seems as if everyone is jotting down thoughts and activities. "Just got back from Starbucks," "Waiting for the train," and "Loving my new haircut!" are all appropriate things to mention on Facebook, Twitter, and the many other social networking sites that we enjoy. Not so appropriate are notes like "I hate you Jimmy!" or "Jane is a b*tch." When you feel that way, it's probably better to write it on the bathroom wall than on a social networking site - the consequences will be much worse online.

3. Do Not Blog: Sometimes a blog is a wonderful place to be "real" and let the world know what's going on in your world. When you are angry though, it might be good to write what you feel in a more physical medium (say, a journal or a Word document) and then sleep on it for 24 hours before posting it online for the world to see. It's amazing how a little bit of time can make a huge difference in how we see things, and while all feelings are valid in the moment, you might not want to remember them for prosperity.

In short, when anger gets the best of you, perhaps it is best to avoid the computer alltogether. Go outside, take a walk, write the old-fashioned way. After all, most anger is (thankfully) fleeting, and can be replaced by more manageable emotions with some thought and time.

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